Three long races in five days - which speed to choose?

Three long races in five days - which speed to choose?

Post by Matthias Rosenkran » Sat, 29 Jun 2002 18:25:42

In a few days, I'll do three longish runs in five days. I'm a bit unsure
which pace to choose to be as fast as possible over all, but not to be
totally worn out after the first or second one.
Maybe someone here has experience with that?

The event: It is the 'Gigathlon' in Switzerland from July, 8th to 14th.
This is a multisport-event in which every day the disciplines swimming,
inline-skating, race-biking, mountain-biking and running are on the
agenda. You can do this as a single, as a team of five (everyone starts
every day) or as a 'Powerteam' (6 to 35 participants). You can also do
only single days as a single or as a team of five. In all teams, two
women have to start on every day.
See details at (also in english).

I'm part of a Powerteam, my starts are:
- Mo.   race bike    90 km (56 miles)  1570 m  uphill
- Tu.   running      32 km (20 miles)   115 m    "
- Th.   running      26 km (16 miles)    90 m    "
- Sa.   running      29 km (18 miles)   430 m    "
                                       (of course there is also downhill)

A little background about me:
I'm a 38 year old male, 1.74 m (5 feet, 8.5") tall, weighing 72 kg
(160 pound). I'm running and doing triathlons for 15 years, my PBs:
   10 k        34:45
   Marathon  2:49
   50 miles  6:45
These personal records are all at least eight years old. In the mean
time, I didn't train that much (kids, house, ...). Two years ago, I
started again with more training, my actual times are:
   10 k        36:49
   HM        1:25:47 (very dificult, hilly course)
   Marathon  3:07:40
I'm running around 50 to 55 km (31 to 34 miles) a week, with a peek
of two 80 km (50 miles) weeks during my just finished vacation.
I'm also swimming around 4 km a week and lift weights once or twice
a week. Didn't do too much cycling this year (1000 km / 600 miles),
but feel quite strong anyway (because of the weight training?).

So, now the big question: How to do the pacing?

I'm planning to do the cycling on Monday almost all-out. I hope to
be nearly not affected of this for my Tuesday run.

If I had to run only on Tuesday, I think I could run at 4:00/km
(6:24/mile). How much should I add, to be reasonably recovered two
days later? I thought about 30 sec/km (48 sec/mile -> speed 7:12/mile),
or is this to optimistic?

On Thursday, I have to consider how I feel, that's clear. Because the
distance is shorter and the course has a net elevation loss of 100 m,
I hope to be a bit faster than on Tuesday. Maybe 4:20/km (6:56/mile)?
Is it a problem, that this run is at an altitude of 1800 m (~ 6000 feet)?
I already ran at this altitude (and higher, Swiss Alpine Marathon) and
didn't feel affected.

I think the pacing on Saturday will be found easily by my legs,
especially because there is a severe uphill part soon after the start.

Thank you for reading this long post and for all recommendations.

Pain is temporary, pride is forever.   Dave Scott